Hey, I just recently installed the Bully Dog Hemi programmer in my ’04 Ram 1500 with a 5.7L Hemi, and wanted to make a post to help anyone looking for information on them, or looking for help with the install.
I’ve had the programmer for just over a month now. I bought it at a performance shop here in Kitchener and it ended up being a little bit more than the internet price. The biggest thing I have noticed is a big impact on performance. I have it set to the performance tune, and I’m not sure if it delivers the 25 horsepower and torque that it says, but the truck is definitely faster. The best way I have seen people on here describe it is that “it really wakes up the Hemi.” I agree 100%. The throttle response is instant and the shifts are much smoother. Did a 0-60 test on a fairly wet road in 4WD and got 7.8 seconds, which isn’t too bad.
As far as MPG increases go, I haven’t had any. I was getting 13.2 MPG before and still am. But to be fair it is winter; I am getting about 1.5 MPG worse than I was in the summer and a programmer can’t really save fuel when you are idling to warm your truck up in the cold mornings! Also I have a bad habit of putting my foot to the floor a little more than I should. I’m hoping to get a bit better mileage in the summer as long as I can keep my foot out of it!
There are basically two options for installing this tuner. You can just install it to the truck and take it out, or you can install it and keep it plugged in as a monitor. The instructions gave most of the info needed. You download the software to the tuner via internet onto the SD card provided and plug that into the tuner. For the first week I had it, only the tune was installed to my truck since I didn’t have access to a warm garage. It comes with an adaptor that plugs into the truck’s OBDII port found under the dash. The adaptor has an HDMI input (that goes to plug into the Bully Dog), and a power input. It also has a switch to choose between ‘battery,’ and ‘key’ power. ‘Battery’ means it will always be on as long as it is plugged in, and ‘key’ means it comes on with the truck.
With mine, I mounted the Bully Dog to the windshield with the suction cup mount provided. I ran the HDMI cable from there down through the weather stripping, to come out by the pedals, and into to the adaptor. I mounted the adaptor to the metal bar with a nut and bolt that the OBDII port is also mounted to where the plastic knee piece ends (under the steering wheel). The power cable is where is got a little more tricky as it requires getting the power cable from inside the cab to the fuse box. You have to find a 10 or 15 amp fuse for something that only comes on with the truck. I used the HVAC fuse (#36 – 10 amp). The programmer comes with a fuse tap for it. You pull the fuse you select and pop the metal tab around the prong of the fuse that will plug into the non-powered side of the fuse input. You will need a test light tool to figure it out. You then take the cut end of the wire and crimp it, plug the fuse back in, and you’re good to go power-wise. As for the cable getting to the fuse box, I drilled a hole just big enough for the cable where the clutch would be on a standard into the engine bay and ran it to the fuse box where a drilled another hole. You’ll want to make sure these remain water tight after drilling.
To install the Bully Dog tune, you’ll need about 10 minutes to download the software to the Bully Dog, and another 15 or so to plug it into the truck and install it. The wiring, for ‘key-on’ power took me about 30 minutes and I didn’t know what I was doing really.
Hope this helps anyone inquiring information, or installing the Bully Dog. It is a great tuner, and I have really enjoyed it so far.